Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It's passed on through unprotected vaginal sex with an infected person.

Signs and symptoms

Trichomoniasis usually only occurs in females. Some females don't have any symptoms of infection. Others may notice:

  • red, sore or itchy vulva (genital area)
  • vaginal discharge which is thin and foamy and may have an unpleasant 'fishy' odour
  • burning or pain when passing urine or during sex.

Symptoms in males are rare. Occasionally, males may notice:

  • slight discharge from the penis
  • burning or pain when passing urine or during sex.

Risk factors

Unprotected vaginal sex, that is, vaginal sex without a condom.


Trichomoniasis is treated with prescribed antibiotics.


  • Always use condoms or dams and water-based lubricant.
  • Before you have sex, talk with your partner about the importance of safe sex.
  • Be open with your partner and make sure you or they don't have any other sex partners.
  • Limit your sex partners.
  • Have regular STI tests


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